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The Talking Newspaper – Dawn of the Smart Paper?

September 21, 2010

in innovation

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I picked up the Times of India and it began talking to me… just like the singing birthday cards. The back page was a talking ad. An innovation I’m yet to see on the iPad although noisy websites are a fact of life. I won’t comment on the merits of this advertising for the VW Vento and it’s not likely to get me to buy one.

I had this image at first of sticking these little black speaker contraptions onto the back of every paper. Nah… still it took some logistics to make this happen. The Economic Times writes “Vento advt talk of the town” and claim it is the first of it’s type in the world. Some 2.2 million papers were delivered with this “chipped talking” ad on board. Just like the talking birthday card.

“Was wondering if the walls were speaking, when I opened the TOI today.. really unique audio ad by VW!! Das cool!”, Vanessa from Chennai wrote on Twitter.

Bhaskar Das, executive president of The Times of India Group, described the advertisement as an innovation in co-creation that makes a statement for not just Times of India, but the entire print media.

“It tells you that even as static a medium as print can deliver and that if there’s a great idea, print media has no constraint in execution.”

Well….maybe. For me there’s enough noise in this world already. Yet I found it a nice reminder that there’s still room to make the old paper smarter, more intelligent and more responsive without giving up the medium it is printed on.  Perhaps next papers that talk back?

Now it’s been done I don’t expect many marketers will follow. Would you?

  • SJobs

    Good bit of advertising for the company , 2.2m at a cost of pence each, still cheap and very effective as a one off gimmick/ novelty (I would certainly frame a copy)..
    but if this was a regular method of advertising then it would quickly get tiresome for everyone involved..

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